Fire investigators believe a house fire that killed a snake and two guinea pigs at the weekend was caused by an incense stick. The blaze broke out in a house on Rose Lane in Chadwell Heath in Romford RM6 on Saturday night.
Two people escaped from the fire and a man managed to rescue a dog from the blaze before firefighters arrived on the scene. A man was treated at the scene for suspected smoke inhalation by paramedics.
A Brigade spokesperson said: “An occupant discovered the fire and tried to tackle it himself using water from the kitchen. By the time he got back to the bedroom where the fire started, the room was ablaze. Our advice is never to tackle a fire yourself, but to get out, call 999 and let the experts deal with it.
“Our investigators believe an incense stick had been left unattended in the bedroom. It’s really easy for them to fall over and set nearby items on fire so our advice is to never leave them unattended. You should also make sure they’re placed well away from flammable items, like curtains. The same advice applies to candles.”
Following the fire, the Brigade said it wanted to remind people to fit and test smoke alarms, saying that homes need multiple smoke alarms. A spokesperson said: “Fires can start in any room so smoke alarms should be fitted in your hallways and landings and in any room where you smoke, use candles, incense sticks or portable heaters and leave electrical equipment on or on charge – such as satellite boxes, heaters, computers or mobile phones.”
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters from Dagenham, Hainault and Ilford fire stations attended the incident.
Part of the first floor and part of the loft was damaged by fire.
The Brigade was called at 1946 and the incident was under control by 2056.